Searching for Ballon rides in Madison? This is to the end of your search! Finding a pilot to provide Ballon rides is easy. In addition, you can check our Balloon Ride Directory, or look in your local yellow pages.
Enjoying Ballon rides is something anyone can enjoy, but it is also a great way to get engaged! When you speak with the firm you are considering flying with, be sure to ask how many passengers will be on the flight.
When it is time for your adventure, your company will offer to let you help with the assembly and inflation of the balloon. Go ahead and do it - it adds to the experience!
Do you need a license to fly a balloon?
A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA. You must pass an FAA written exam, obtain a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test.
A pilot offering balloon rides (flying passengers for hire) must receive additional training and have more experience than a private pilot. You don't have to be able to fly an airplane since it is a completely different type of aircraft, although many balloon pilots also fly other types of aircraft like airplanes and helicopters.
Famous Balloon Quote:
Like a shamanistic language, flight speaks in different idioms. We can blast rockets to the stars. We can race across the sky on fixed wings. Ballooning appeals because it is more languorous and low-tech; it's adventure in an antique mood.
What a treat to stroll through the veils of twilight, to float across the sky like a slowly forming thought. Flying an airplane, one usually travels the shortest distance between two points. Balloonists can dawdle, lollygag, cast their fate to the wind and become part of the ebb and flow of nature, part of the sky itself, held aloft like any bird, leaf or spore. In that silent realm, far from the mischief and toil of society, all one hears is the urgent breathing of the wind and, now and then, an inspiring gasp of hot air.
— Diane Ackerman, 'Traveling Light,' op-ed in The New York Times, 11 January 1997.
A balloon team is often a family affair. Crew people come in all shapes and sizes: singles, married, and entire families can be found. Pick any combination of these types of folks, and they are here too. There are crew people ranging from new born babies, to folks well into their 80's still enjoying the sport. The only special skill needed for the balloon ground crew is a willingness to learn and ask questions. Some tasks require a fair amount of physical strength, but don't worry, there are even more tasks that do not.
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Competition pilots have become quite skilled in reading the winds aloft and using them to their advantage to get where they want to be (the target!). Competitors have gotten so good that the difference between first place and third or fourth can be fractions of an inch.